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NYM@ARI: Kennedy fans nine over 6 1/3 innings

At the beginning of the season, a matchup between the D-backs and Phillies could have been seen as a potential National League playoff preview.

But as August begins, the D-backs are attempting to crawl out of third place in the NL West to make a postseason push, while the Phillies are already looking ahead to next year.

The two division winners from a season ago will open a three-game weekend series Friday.

For the D-backs, a resurgent Ian Kennedy takes the hill. After winning 21 games last year, the 27-year-old began this season 5-7.

But in the ace's last three starts, all wins, Kennedy has allowed a combined six runs over 22 1/3 innings.

His latest victory came Saturday against the Mets, when he surrendered three runs -- all on solo homers to Ike Davis -- over 6 1/3 frames.

"My command has been better," Kennedy said. "Being ahead of guys, it makes a big difference. I watched things on film and tried to think of drills we did in the past. It was getting frustrating, but it's working out now."

Joe Blanton was originally slated to start for Philly, but he was traded shortly before game time to the Dodgers. Kyle Kendrick, who last started on July 6, takes his place. He hasn't allowed an earned run in seven relief appearances since.

Phillies: Lee reportedly placed on waivers
The Phillies have placed Cliff Lee on waivers, according to a tweet from Yahoo! Sports' columnist Jeff Passan. Lee is expected to clear waivers on Friday, making him eligible for a trade, according to the report.

This is standard procedure after the non-waiver Trade Deadline passes, and not totally unexpected. It's unlikely that Lee (2-6, 3.73 ERA) will be claimed because he's owed $25 million in each of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons, with a $27.5 million option in 2016 that vests if he throws 200 innings in 2015, or 400 innings in 2014 and 2015 combined.

Even if Lee is claimed, the Phillies have the option of pulling him back. If he clears waivers, it gives the Phillies the option to trade him. There were reports circulating in the days leading to Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline that the former Cy Young Award winner was on the trading block, but Lee said after his start on Tuesday that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told him those were just rumors.

"Ruben did tell me that some teams proposed some stuff to him, but nothing that ever made even close to sense for the Phillies," Lee said then.

D-backs: Podsednik released as Albers joins club
Reliever Matt Albers reported to the D-backs on Thursday in Philadelphia, and the club made room for him by optioning reliever Brad Bergeson to Triple-A Reno.

Albers was acquired along with outfielder Scott Podsednik from the Red Sox in exchange for reliever Craig Breslow just prior to the Trade Deadline.

The D-backs assigned Podsednik to Triple-A Reno, but the veteran declined to accept the assignment, so he was given his release.

Worth noting
• Jimmy Rollins hit his fourth career inside-the-park homer for the Phillies on Tuesday. He has the most inside-the-park homers among active Major League players.

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